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Abdulah: Kamla is real loser
Ashworth Jack’s Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) may have lost all 12 seats to the PNM in the Tobago election on Monday but the real loser is Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar because of her blatant campaigning for Jack, says leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah.
He added: “It is abundantly clear that while Ashworth Jack and his Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) is the immediate loser, the real loser in the THA election is Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and by extension the United National Congress (UNC) which she leads.
“Mrs Persad-Bissessar staked her political reputation and credibility on this election by deciding to campaign openly and aggressively in the THA election.”
Abdulah said instead of the election being about issues, such as internal self- government, the best ways to ensure sustainable development and decent livelihoods for Tobagonians and the proper management of the island’s resources, by Persad-Bissessar’s intervention she turned the THA election into a referendum on her leadership and that of her government.
Saying the UNC had no mass base in Tobago, Abdulah described the UNC as a Trinidad-based party which Tobagonians have rejected.
Abdulah also gave a brief history the reason why Tobagonians were bent on determining their own affairs.
He said: “Since the Democratic Action Congress (DAC), led by ANR Robinson, won the two Tobago seats in the general election of 1976, the PNM was effectively kept out of Tobago in election after election, be it parliamentary or THA.
“Thus in those 37 years, the PNM has only been able to win in Tobago since 2001, when Orville London was able to shift the PNM position to one where the Tobago Island Council of the PNM has demonstrated some level of autonomy from Balisier House.
“Tobagonians’ deep sense of hurt over their treatment by Trinidad and their desire for greater control over their own affairs has long been a rallying cry and all Trinidad-based parties have felt the brunt of this.”
Abdulah also criticised Persad-Bissessar for recently opening a gas station in Tobago with Ashworth Jack in attendance and not the THA’s Chief Secretary Orville London.
He added: “That type of demonstration of disrespect for the office of the Chief Secretary, the turning of public events that involved State resources into occasions for naked politicking and an attitude of Trinidad triumphalism was bound to be rejected by Tobagonians.”
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